Choosing an original is always rewarding. One of the reasons we’ve grown to love loopop is that he’s not an “influencer” – his video reviews are manuals, tutorials, and sound design guides come to life. So it’s worth watching the full Oberheim OB-X8 video even if you’re not in the market – because it’s full of sound design tips you can apply to other instruments, even free software modulars and synths.

We’ve talked plenty before about the Oberheim OB-X8, why it’s important what it does, and why it’s meaningful that the “Oberheim” is Tom Oberheim, a legend still working in synth manufacturing for a new generation, and directly worked on the synth that bears his name.

But all of that being said, part of why it’s good to check out how an iconic synth like this works is that you absolutely don’t need this particular hardware to do this. If you did, we’d basically have to start over with every single piece of gear. The fact that synths do all share so many ideas means that they’re transferrable. It also means you can try stuff out on basically any budget. I definitely don’t have the cash for an OB-X8 at the moment, but thinking about how cross-modulation or LFO features and LFO envelopes work comes in really handy elsewhere. So let’s say you want to experiment with something like VCV Rack – free (for base software and many modules), but also sometimes dauntingly open-ended. It’s nice to refer back to the way something like -xmod works on the Oberheim and then see what you can patch on your own.

I haven’t gotten to check out loopop’s full running-progress book of ideas, tips, and tricks, but I’m very curious. Meanwhile, here are a few favorite recent videos – some that we’ve covered in depth on CDM, and some we haven’t. There’s some gear that’s pricey and rare, and stuff that’s really affordable.

But you’ll see this is also a really nicely curated list of gear. It represents a perspective on what’s important; and loopop’s musical identity is clear through all of it – even if it’s relatable to other folks.

To do that, it’s really important to defend choosing what we work on, and saying no to some things. Sometimes that even means saying no to really worthy stuff, just so there’s space to focus on quality.

I always welcome feedback on what to cover, and I absolutely see what resonates with readers as I’m sure loopop does with viewers. Over years of doing this, you’re ultimately our greatest resource and guide.

I do still long for that OB-X8! But yeah, this weekend looking forward to doing some patching elsewhere. Have a good one.